This short review has summarised the most important research, particularly that from 1985 to 1995, on the relationship between diet and behaviour. Relevant studies particularly those using double-blind placebo controlled food challenge methodology were selected, and presented within a historical context. Summary tables of the early development of concepts and later pertinent studies are provided. The research has shown that diet definitely affects some children. Rather than becoming simpler the issue has become demonstrably more complex. The range of suspect food items have broadened, and some non-food items are relevant. The symptoms which change can include those included in ADD and ADHD disorders, sleep problems and physical symptoms, with the later research emphasising particularly changes in mood. The reports also show the range of individual differences both in the food substances producing reactions and in the areas of change.
This article was published in the Journal of Paediatric and Child Health in 1997. The full version can be downloaded as a free pdf here while the definitive version is available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1440-1754.1997.tb01578.x/abstract.